September 22, 2023
Capt. Alan Sherman covers Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable, including Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Homestead.
September 22 - 24
Deerfield Beach to Key Largo & Flamingo to Cape Sable
NOAA Weather is forecasting winds to be out of the north to northeast at 10 knots late Friday. Saturday and Sunday winds will be 5 to 10 knots out of the east to southeast. The fall migration is on its way and baitfish schools along with the first finger mullet schools have arrived in South Florida.
Pompano Beach, Port Everglades, Haulover, Government Cut to Ocean Reef
Snook fishing continues to be good but now with finger mullet schools sliding through the ocean inlets, snook are schooling up again and slurping them down. This action will only get better as more baitfish schools and schools of mullets move into our area. Tarpon, big jack crevalles, barracuda and sharks are all feeding on the mullets when they move into the ocean inlets. The offshore bite continues to be only fair. A few kingfish, many bonitos, and occasion wahoo, and sailfish are being caught. You have to work hard to get these fish to take your baits. Live baits fished under a kite are getting many of the strikes. Fishermen anchoring and chumming with live baits and chunks of baitfish have been getting the fish. Drifting and trolling are working but all of these techniques are only producing a few fish. The best depths to target have been 80 to 300 feet of water. Dolphin fish continue to be scattered offshore and are not dependable. If you’re looking for dolphins this weekend, then head offshore till you’re in the blue water. Once they start looking for floating debris, weed lines, and birds. The birds have been on schools of small blackfin tuna, skipjack tuna, and dolphin fish. Often these fish are feeding on very small baitfish this time of year and the fish feeding under the birds are very finicky as to what they will eat. Small soft plastic baitfish imitations often work better than a whole ballyhoo. Swordfishing has germ good during the daytime hours. The swords are eating rigged bonito bellies, rigged dolphin bellies, and rigged squids. You need to get the baits to the bottom and the best bite is happening in 1600 to 1800 feet of water. Daytime wreck fishing is producing a few amberjacks, vermillion snappers, and lots of sharks. Reef bottom fishing continues to be good both day and night for yellowtail snappers. The best bite is in 45 to 100 feet of water. Low tide at Government Cut Friday night will be at 8:31.
North Biscayne Bay Inshore
Baitfish schools are moving into the bay and have been easiest to find during the first few hours after the sunrises. With the breathless mornings, it’s much easier to see the nervous waters created by schools of threadfin herring, pilchards, and Spanish sardines. Feeding on this bait has been ladyfish, jack crevalles, blue runners, mangrove snappers, barracudas, and an early mackerel or two. Casting flashy soft plastics or hard plastics, and silver spoons around the baitfish should get you into the action. Finger mullets are starting to show up in the bay and if you get out early, catch some finger mullets with a cast net, and take them up into Maule Lake, Dumfoundling Bay, small to medium size tarpons and maybe a few snook will be eager to eat one of those finger mullets free lined on the surface. Over the shallow grass flats, sea trout will be eager to grab a finger mullet or pilchard fished under a Cajun Thunder float. Casting Savage Gear Twitch Reapers over the flats is another way to catch a four-fish limit of sea trout. Nighttime snook and medium-sized tarpon fishing is getting better. Pitch a live finger mullet under a lighted dock and hold on. Low tide at Indian Creek Golf Club Saturday morning is at 9:37 AM.
South Biscayne Bay
With the flat calm mornings that we have been having, seeing tailing bonefish and permits along the Oceanside flats from Bear Cut south to Ocean Reef can be easy. Don’t be surprised if that tailing fish you see has a pink tail. This time of year, large mutton snappers move up on the flats as they look for crabs to eat. The Finger Channels from Cape Florida to Elliot Key have an assortment of jacks, barracudas, small groupers, mangrove, yellowtail, and mutton snappers to catch. These fish have been eating live pilchards but will take a shrimp too. Low tide at Soldier Key on Saturday will be at 9:07 in the morning.
Calm mornings in Florida Bay equate to easy sightings of rolling tarpons. Look for the tarpons in Snake Bight, around Joe Kemp Key, Palm Key Channel, Conchie Channel, and along the coast from just north of the outside boat ramp all the way to Lostmans River. A live mullet makes a great tarpon bait. You will need a lot of bait though because the sharks like live mullets too. Expect snook, redfish, and sea trout to be feeding in the channels, run-offs, and canal, river, and creek mouths. Jig heads tipped with a soft plastic tail always work on these fish. In the backcountry of Whitewater and Oyster Bays, calm waters will help you find the tarpons. Live pinfish fished under a Cajun Thunder float makes for a great tarpon bait and rig. Look for snook, mangrove snappers, and redfish to be feeding along the island shorelines and island points. Look for small baitfish schools in these areas to help you locate the fish. High tide at Flamingo in Florida Bay on Saturday will be at 7:53 AM and at the mouth of Shark River high tide is at 5:07 AM.
Editors Note: Signatures Needed! The "Right to Clean and Healthy Waters" petition needs 900,000 signatures by November 30 to get on the 2024 ballot. Learn more here: http://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/
Capt. Alan Sherman